Sao Paulo, Brazil, 24 April – Chinese firms operating in the Manaus Industrial Complex (PIM) in the Brazilian state of Amazonas invested US$ 40.3 million last year, some 11 times more than in 2000, according to official figures.
The PIM, with 450 companies, is the base of the Manaus Free Zone (ZFM), an area established by the Brazilian government in 1967 to spur economic development in western Amazonia.
In a note sent to Macauhub, an official regional body responsible for administering the ZFM and linked to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade said that Chinese companies in the ZFM invested US$ 3. 6 million in 2000.
Chinese investments in the industrial complex started to increase from 2003 with a total US$ 22.9 million, which was followed with investment of US$ 26.2 million and US$ 34.8 million, respectively, in the following two years.
Despite these recent developments, only eight of the 144 foreign-controlled companies in the industrial complex are in Chinese hands. Firms from Japan topped the overseas investment table in 2006 with expenditure of US$ 1.2 billion.
United States companies were in second place with investments of US$ 595 million, according to the official figures. The Netherlands, Finland and South Korea were the other top five investors in the PIM.
The eight companies registered as being Chinese owned in the ZFM are Proview Eletrônica do Brazil, Prismatic da Amazônia Indústria e Comércio, Caloi Norte, Tainan Indústria e Comércio, SVA da Amazônia, Samsung SDI Brasil, Gree Electric Appliance do Brasil and Cifec Compensados da Amazônia.
Of these firms, only Prismatic, Tainan and Gree are 100 percent Chinese owned. (macauhub)